300 'advisers' in Iraq? What's Obama thinking?

 |  NCR Today

I can't believe that President Barack Obama is sending in 300 military "advisers" into Iraq. What is he thinking?

First of all, there is no way that 300 "advisers" are going to make much of a difference in what is clearly a civil war between the Sunnis and the Shiites. Both sides have their hands in blood, and both are responsible for horrendous war crimes and mass killings. There is no "good" side in this conflict, which the U.S. created by invading Iraq in 2003, which only brought on more violence and civil unrest. So, No. 1: The "advisers" are not going to change all of this.

No. 2: The president is playing semantics. Those of us who remember the Vietnam War know that there is no such thing as a military "adviser" in a war zone. In the late 1950s and early 1960s, the U.S. sent thousands of military "advisers" to South Vietnam to allegedly train the South Vietnamese army against "Communist" invaders. This was, of course, another civil war that the U.S. should have had no role in and that only created an even worse debacle in that country.

But the fact of the matter was that these so-called "advisers" were, in fact, combat troops or special forces units that didn't just advise; they engaged in combat. That's why they were there in the first place. Americans don't like taking a secondary role to anyone, and certainly this is true of the U.S. military. No military "adviser" is going to just take a secondary role with the Iraqi military.

No. 3: As in the case of Vietnam, these "advisers" will prove to be, God forbid, the precursors of sending in again more American military personnel to do precisely what the president said we would not do -- fight the war for the Iraqis. The president is right on one thing: As he said earlier, we cannot do for the Iraqis what they won't do for themselves -- defend their own country and try to bring all sides together.

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I'm very disappointed in President Obama. He is going back on his 2008 election pledge to end the war in Iraq. No more American soldiers -- our sons and daughters -- should have to die or be maimed for people who won't stand up for themselves. Enough is enough!

One last thought. If all this means another protracted U.S. military involvement in Iraq, I will not be surprised if an anti-war candidate does not surface on the Democratic side for the 2016 election. I have no doubt that Hillary Clinton will support this new American military intervention since she feels she has to prove that she is tough in foreign and defense matters.

Hence, it is very possible that another politician opposed to such military adventures will surface and run for president. As in the case of Vietnam, this country -- or at least those in power -- cannot seem to get over this predilection to militarily intervene in quagmires.

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July 14-27, 2017